After my previous post talking about the new Windows 365 service, a number of people pointed out that the Amazon WorkSpaces offering was very similar. True, and from the Microsoft perspective, this has been the #1 competitor product that they have been targeting. (Sure, there are a bunch of additional offerings from smaller vendors, running on top of various clouds, and a bunch of on-premises solutions too. But when it comes to Windows 365, Amazon is in the crosshairs.)
As I read through the details of the Amazon WorkSpaces solution, I realized that there are parallels between the Windows 365 configurations and the Amazon WorkSpaces’ Windows “Bring Your Own Licenses” (BYOL) configurations. (In both cases, the service subscription doesn’t include the Windows license and instead you need to be licensed for Microsoft 365 E3/E5 or Windows 10 E3/E5. Amazon does provide another Windows licensing option, but it uses Windows Server because Microsoft doesn’t provide a “rentable” Windows 10/11 license to any partners.)
If we look at the Windows 365 and Amazon WorkSpaces configurations side by side, we can see the similarities. They aren’t identical because Amazon uses some rather odd disk sizing (split between OS and user volumes), but they get close enough for comparison. And we know that the 2+4+128 Windows 365 configuration is $31/user/month (highlighted in bold below), so that makes a pretty good anchor point.
|Microsoft||Amazon||Amazon price||Microsoft price (est.)|
|1 vCPU, 2GB RAM, 64GB disk||1, 2GB, 80+10GB||$21/user/month||$21|
|2, 4GB, 64GB||2, 4GB, 80+10GB||$29||$29|
|2, 4GB, 128GB||2, 4GB, 80+50GB||$31||$31|
|2, 4GB, 256GB||2, 4GB, 175+100GB||$40||$40|
|4, 16GB, 128GB||4, 16GB, 80+50GB||$68||$68|
|4, 16GB, 256GB||4, 16GB, 175+100GB||$74||$74|
|4, 16GB, 512GB||N/A||$86|
|8, 32GB, 128GB||8, 32GB, 80+50GB||$126||$126|
|8, 32GB, 256GB||8, 32GB, 175+100GB||$136||$136|
|8, 32GB, 512GB||N/A||$156|
Real creativity was required there to estimate the prices, given that the one (initially leaked) price matches the closest Amazon configuration identically (well, given that the configurations don’t quite match up, as close as they can): I assumed Microsoft will match the Amazon prices as closely as possible. And for the two configurations where Amazon doesn’t have an equivalent, I estimated the cost of doubling the storage as twice the cost of the previous step (so if going from 128GB to 256GB increases the cost by $6, going from 256GB to 512GB will increase the cost by $12).
How close will I get? I guess you’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
Given that I would typically recommend a 4 core, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD configuration as a bare minimum for a new laptop (which you can probably find in a $1000-$2000 range), and that laptop would have at least a three-year lifetime, compare that to a cloud PC cost of $2,664. So good luck with your search for soft cost TCO savings.
Categories: Windows 365